Re: Aquatic ape theory

H. M. Hubey (
28 Sep 1995 02:44:52 -0400 (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

>Now...let's look at these character traits one-by-one, and apply them to

Let's also look at humans who are "adapted to land living" and
compare these traits one by one.

> 1) Sprint-mode for swimming: Humans are only average swimmers of all
>the swimming animals. As far as a "5th gear" (a sprint-mode) is concerned,
>humans don't have one. Dolphins and river otters and beavers have a
>well-developed "over-drive" to avoid predators.

Humans are poor runners. Any predator would be able to catch
humans without any trouble. WE probably couldn't even outrun
housecats from a sprint.

> 2) Good underwater eye-sight: Humans see much more poorly underwater
>than they do above water.

HUman eyes are poor in air too compared to owls, eagles, and
maybe even some other animals.

> 3) Good underwater hearing: Humans have lousy underwater
>is muffled, and many frequencies are lost. Directional hearing is generally
>very poor in submerged humans.

OUr hearing is beaten by other animals in air too, say like dogs.
We can't hear beyond 20KHz whereas dogs can hear up to twice as
high. Other animals might outperform us too.

So are we adopted for land living?

> 4) Good breath control: Highly-trained humans can usually hold their breath for around four to five minutes. The statistically-average person can hold

OK. But our stamina on land without having to hold our breath
doesn't seem to be too high either. For what reason do we have
those long legs if we aren't going to use them for running, and
we can't match horses.

> 5) Morphological adaptations for silent swimming: Humans have bifurcated
>appendages that are long, highly mobile, and floppy.

You seem to be looking for a fish or maybe something that is
neither man nor fish.

But nobody really said that anything more than erect bipedal
posture and loss of body hair (and maybe a few other little
things) was really what the aquatic life style brought.

Does anyone claim that taking to trees gave our ancestors
wings? Or how about rubber cushion soles to absorb the
shock of falling off trees? Or how about having three arms
because they'd need two to swing from trees like Tarzan and the
third arm would have been really useful to grab bananas on the
fly, and maybe even steal fruits from the less well endowed
tree dwellers.


Regards, Mark